Functional Medicine FAQ’s
What is functional medicine?
Functional medicine is an approach to health that considers lifestyle, environmental exposures, and genetic factors to evaluate and treat the whole person. This approach helps with disease prevention and treatment. Dr. Rowley is a highly-skilled, functional medicine doctor and board-certified family medicine physician. She and her team:
- Address the root causes of your symptoms with specific nutritional ad lifestyle recommendations
- Order and interpret advanced and conventional lab tests when needed
- Prescribe supplements
- Prescribe medications only if you need them
Family Medicine physicians, like Dr. Rowley, complete at least 7 years of medical training before functional medicine training, so you can trust the Kale Functional Medicine team with your care.
Who can benefit from functional medicine?
Everybody can benefit from functional medicine! If you’re well, a functional medicine approach can help with the optimization of your health and disease prevention. If you’re not well, then a functional medicine doctor can help restore your health. Common health problems functional medicine can effectively address include:
- Autoimmune disease
- Gut health (including leaky gut, gut dysbiosis, GERD, and more)
- Asthma and allergies
- Thyroid problems
- Hormone imbalance
- Chronic fatigue, and many more
Rather than treating a disease, Functional Medicine re-creates health. A disease is named based on a set of symptoms and Functional Medicine doctors focus on identifying and correcting the cause of those symptoms. The Kale Functional Medicine team offers a consultation and health assessment to assess triggers that contribute to undesirable symptoms.
What happens during my appointment?
Before appointments at Kale Functional Medicine, patients fill out a Root Cause Analysis form to dive deep into your medical history and establish a starting point for your medical evaluation. This form reviews your family and personal medical history, symptoms, past diagnoses, toxic exposures, major life events, current lifestyle, supplements and medications. This is essential to effective treatment and helps prevent you from forgetting to tell the doctor something you wanted her to know. During the appointment, the doctor will give insights into how you arrived at your current state of health.
Dr. Rowley also completes a comprehensive physical exam during the first visit. She may recommend urine tests, blood tests, or other diagnostic tests as needed. She will never recommend costly tests that she does not think you need. Finally, you will get a customized treatment plan including recommendations for your diet and nutrition, exercise, stress-management, supplements, necessary detox protocols and more.
Which functional medicine treatment is for me?
Your personalized functional medicine treatment depends on your lifestyle, genetics, medical history, results from lab tests, levels of inflammation, food sensitivities, and chronic disease risk factors. Your functional medicine specialist might recommend:
- Personalized therapeutic diets
- Exercise and movement
- Stress-relieving strategies
- Detox protocols
- Bioidentical hormone therapy
- Tips for improved sleep
- Spiritual or mind-body techniques
- Medications only when necessary
After treatment, your provider follows up with you in-person or via telemedicine, depending on your preference. They repeat diagnostic tests when necessary, discuss your symptoms and any challenges to implementing your program, and make sure your treatment is effective.
Dr. Rowley adjusts your treatment plan whenever necessary. If you need conventional medication to get your illness controlled, she can prescribe medication or can refer you to highly qualified specialists when needed.
Don’t let disease diminish your quality of life when effective, holistic treatments are available at Kale Functional Medicine. Schedule a consultation over the phone by speaking with a friendly team member today to request an appointment.
Gut Health FAQ’s
Why is gut health important?
Your gut, another word for intestines, is arguably the most important organ in your body. It affects just about everything! It houses two-thirds of your immune system and the majority of your body’s neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters send various types of signals throughout your body like pain signals, signals for movement, thought, and emotion. Your gut also contains tiny microorganisms together known as your microbiome that maintain the balance of good and bad bacteria. When this balance is off, or you are exposed to foods you are intolerant to, you might experience unpleasant symptoms at first. This can lead to leaky gut which means the lining of your gut stops working the way it should and lets things pass through that can harm you. Over time this causes inflammation to increase and if uncorrected may lead to chronic illnesses like autoimmune disease, Alzheimers, or Crohn’s Disease for example. Treatment at Kale Functional Medicine can help prevent or reverse this process.
What are the symptoms of poor gut health?
Common symptoms associated with gut health problems include:
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Heartburn and acid reflux
- Brain fog or depression
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Bloating and excessive gas
- Blood in your stools
- Low energy and fatigue
- Vomiting or nausea
- Abdominal pain
What are the top causes of gut problems?
Your gut’s job is to allow in nutrients and keep everything else out, especially things that can harm you. Poor dietary choices, stress, infection, exposure to toxins and medications and so many other factors contribute to damaging your gut over time. After repeated trauma, the gut lining can become compromised and allow too many harmful things into your body. This is known as leaky gut and this is one of the biggest contributors to gut problems. In addition to leaky gut, an imbalanced microbiome causes poor gut health. The microbiome, is made up of microscopic organisms like bacteria, yeast, and viruses that lives along the wall of your gut. Certain bacteria are associated with good health, lower weight, and more energy. Others are associated with weight retention, fatigue, food cravings, gas, bloating, and other unpleasant symptoms. An overgrowth of these types of bacteria cause symptoms that if not controlled eventually lead to chronic disease.
How are digestive problems diagnosed?
How is gut health restored?
To optimize gut health your Kale Functional Medicine specialist might recommend:
Depending on your unique needs, your Functional Medicine doctor may recommend including or excluding certain foods to restore your gut microbiome. In some cases it makes sense to do an elimination diet for a few weeks to help reset your gut then slowly reintroduce foods to identify food sensitivities. Alternatively, blood testing can be done to reveal what foods you are sensitive to without the elimination diet. When your doctor helps narrow down what foods are best for your unique gut, then an entire meal plan can be prescribed with recipes and shopping lists to support you with implementing the changes.
Making lifestyle changes helps reduce many gastrointestinal problems. Your Functional Medicine specialist might suggest regular exercise, adjustments to your sleep regimen, dietary supplements (such as fiber, probiotics, or prebiotics), or stress management such as mind-body or spiritual practices. Your brain and you gut are connected through nerve pathways that run between the two, sharing information back and forth. This means that when you brain is calm and happy, usually your gut is too, and vice versa.
Supplements can help build and protect your gut lining. Dr. Rowley will prescribe medical-grade supplements as necessary which will be shipped to you directed. You control whether you have your shipments automated or log into the portal to reorder and receive a discount off store-front prices.
In some cases, medication is necessary. Dr. Rowley is a board-certified Family Medicine doctor who can prescribe or maintain medications as needed. However, the goal will be to wean you off unnecessary medications or prevent you from having to take them as you optimize your health.
At times, surgical procedures are necessary for certain conditions. If a surgical procedure is right for you, your Kale Functional Medicine provider would refer you to a highly qualified specialist. Functional Medicine recommendations can help strengthen your gut health in preparation for the surgery and help support your recovery.
Stop the vicious cycle of poor gut health causing increased inflammation and poor brain function which eventually leads to chronic disease. Call today to schedule an appointment with the experts at Kale Functional Medicine for an evaluation.
Autoimmune Disease FAQ’s
What are autoimmune diseases?
- Thyroid disorders
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory bowel disease, and many more
The Kale Functional Medicine team confirms evaluates your symptoms and develops a customized treatment plan considering your diet, lifestyle, genetics and toxic exposures to uncover the root cause and help you get healthy again.
What are the symptoms of autoimmune diseases?
- Low-grade fever
- Chronic fatigue
- Muscle aches
- Joint pain, stiffness or swelling
- Digestive issues
- Abdominal pain
- Swollen glands
You might experience flare-ups or worsening symptoms cycled with remission when symptoms appear to get better. Your functional medicine specialist personalizes your autoimmune disease treatments to offer you lasting relief.
What are the risk factors for autoimmune diseases?
Anyone can develop autoimmune diseases as their cause isn’t entirely clear. However, certain factors can increase your risk, such as:
- Diet high in processed foods
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Excess weight and obesity
- Family history of autoimmune diseases
- Reactions to some medications
- Other unhealthy lifestyle habits
How are autoimmune diseases treated?
- Nutrition counseling
- Dietary supplements
- Stress relieving strategies
- Regular exercise
- Medications when needed
Your provider monitors you regularly to make sure your treatment is effective. They can alter your treatment plan as needed to give you the best outcome and maximize your quality of life. You might even be able to slowly reduce or eliminate medications with lifestyle changes over time.
To understand the cause and establish the right treatment for your autoimmune disease, schedule an appointment with the experts at Kale Functional Medicine by phone today.
Thyroid Disorder FAQ’s
What are the risk factors for thyroid disorders?
What are the symptoms of thyroid disorders?
Symptoms of an autoimmune disease vary, depending on the condition. Signs and symptoms can range in severity from mild to severe and might include:
- Enlarged thyroid gland
- Lumps on the thyroid gland
- Cold sensitivity (hypothyroidism) or heat sensitivity (hyperthyroidism)
- Constipation (hypothyroidism) or diarrhea (hyperthyroidism)
- Excessive unexplained weight gain (hypothyroidism) or weight loss (hyperthyroidism)
- Excessively dry skin and thinning hair (not associated with male-pattern baldness)
- Irregular periods in women
How are thyroid disorders diagnosed?
How are thyroid disorders treated?
Your customized thyroid disorder treatment depends on your specific condition and its severity. Your Functional Medicine MD might recommend:
- Diet and other lifestyle changes
- Stress reduction
- Addressing toxic exposures
- Dietary supplements
- Conventional therapies such as medications, radioiodine therapy and thyroid surgery when needed
If you exhibit symptoms of thyroid disorder, call Kale Functional Medicine to make an appointment today.
You don’t have to suffer through conventional treatment of thyroid disorder which involved taking medication at increasingly higher doses which cause greater side effects. Treatment at Kale Functional Medicine offers holistic solutions which can decrease or possibly even stop your need for medications and help you thrive again. Schedule an appointment by phone and speak with a friendly team member today.
- Immune system
- Adrenal Health
- Women’s health
- Pediatric and adolescent care
- Food sensitivities
- Optimal health and wellness